While we often think of the technology sector as the place to look for disruptive growth stocks and names with explosive long-term potential, the tech sector can also be a great place to find top dividend stocks.

Although it may not immediately come to mind as a rich sector for dividends in the same way as financials or energy stocks, there are plenty of great tech stocks that pay substantial and growing dividends. Let's look at three of the best to buy in October. 

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1. Texas Instruments

When looking for top tech dividend stocks, it's hard to look past Texas Instruments (TXN -1.05%) when starting the list. Shares of the analog semiconductor giant yield 3%, but there's a lot more to the appeal of Texas Instruments as a dividend stock than just the attractive yield. The Dallas-based company has increased its dividend payout for 18 years and counting. This dividend growth has come at an impressive 25% compound annual growth rate. Texas Instruments' dividend payout has more than doubled since 2017, when the company paid out $2.12 a share, to the current rate of $4.60 per share. With management's strong commitment to creating value for shareholders, it seems like a good bet that Texas Instruments will continue to increase its dividend payout and join the list of Dividend Aristocrats seven years from now.

In addition to its solid track record and likelihood of further dividend growth, Texas Instruments is also appealing as a dividend stock for the stability and safety of its payout. The $4.60 per share the company currently pays out on an annualized basis is well covered by Texas Instruments' $9.14 in earnings per share, giving it a dividend payout ratio of about 50%.

Texas Instruments also supplements the dividend with extensive share buybacks and has reduced its share count by an incredible 46% since the current management team took over in 2004.      

With demand for analog chips likely to increase as more devices go digital in the years to come, a safe and growing dividend, and a thoughtful management team with a strong track record of creating value for shareholders, Texas Instruments looks like a top dividend tech stock to buy in October. 

2. Qualcomm 

With a dividend yield of about 2.5%, Qualcomm's (QCOM 0.10%) dividend may not get the hearts of dividend investors racing at first glance. However, a closer look reveals a lot to like about Qualcomm as a dividend growth stock

The San Diego-based company has increased its annual dividend payout every year since 2013, and the new quarterly payout of $0.75 is now three times higher than the $0.25 a quarter it paid out in 2013. Qualcomm's dividend also looks safe and secure, with a payout ratio of just 25%. 

Qualcomm is expanding into a multitude of end markets with massive potential. The company is best known for its Snapdragon semiconductors that go into mobile phone handsets, but it is moving increasingly into edge computing and Internet of Things devices, the automotive market, and even the metaverse, where Snapdragon powers Meta Platforms'  popular Oculus Quest 2 headset. Qualcomm increased its design win pipeline from $19 billion during the second quarter of 2022 to $30 billion during the third quarter and forecasts that it will have a total addressable market of $100 billion within automotive by 2030. 

New revenue streams from automotive, edge computing, and beyond should help to provide plenty of new fuel for Qualcomm's dividend to keep growing over time. The stock is cheap, trading near its 52-week low and priced at just 10 times earnings. The combination of returns via Qualcomm's growing dividend and likely share price appreciation if it executes on entering these new markets makes it a compelling dividend stock to buy and hold for the next decade.  

3. IBM 

Let's move beyond the semiconductor space and save the highest-yielding stock for last: IBM (IBM 0.82%). The $110 billion company is a Dividend Aristocrat that has increased its annual payout ratio for 28 consecutive years. Shares currently yield well over 5%, making for a compelling payout. 

Shares of IBM have underperformed the broader market over the past decade. But in recent years, the company made some bold decisions in an attempt to transform the 111-year-old company into a more modern, high-margin SaaS business. These moves include spinning off its IT services segment into a separate company, Kyndryl, and acquiring Red Hat Software for $34 billion to bolster its cloud business. The ship may be starting to turn as shares of IBM are outperforming the broader market and the rest of the tech sector this year. While IBM is down 11% year to date, this beats the return of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq over the same time frame, as they are down 23% and 31%, respectively. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF, which tracks technology stocks, is down 30% year to date. The market is forward-looking, and these bold decisions, plus the market-beating dividend payout of over 5%, should combine to give IBM investors significantly better returns over the next decade than they experienced over the past one. 

These three tech stocks all yield between 2.5 and 5.5% and offer investors a compelling mix of income, dividend growth, and share price appreciation over time, proving that the tech sector is a great place to stock up on dividends.